Case Study 3

Case Study 3

Title Progress Loans Program evaluation 2011
Category Banking and finance / social research
Client ANZ and The Brotherhood of St Laurence
Research objective  To further evaluate the effectiveness of the Progress Loans program in meeting the financial needs of customers and the social impacts derived from the program, including impacts on personal financial capabilities and financial literacy.
Research approach The research methodology involved a number of stages and included both qualitative and quantitative research approaches:

  • A review of the social inclusion, service quality and financial capability measurement literature as input to measurement device development
  • 42 face to face depth interviews and 7 telephone interviews with past and present customers. 12 respondents were interviewed twice 4 to 6 months apart to gain deeper insight into their experiences
  • A group discussion with Progress Loans officers
  • 300 telephone interviews (CATI) with past and present loans customers.
Key findings Key finding 1 - Provides access to essential household and personal items: The evaluation showed that the  Progress Loans program was effective in helping customers address key financial needs. The loan assisted customers to fund basic household and personal needs including the purchase and repair of vehicles, purchase of household and personal goods, funding of medical services, funding of education and training, and funding of other personal requirements.

Key finding 2 - Facilitates social inclusion: The evaluation also showed that goods and services purchased with a Progress Loan helped improved personal living conditions and quality of life, facilitated greater interaction with family, friends and the community, improved health and wellbeing, improved personal life skills, facilitated employment, improved access to community and institutional resources, and improved material and economic resources. In addition, the program assisted customers to be more independent, improved customer self-confidence and self-esteem and helped reduce financial and emotional stress in the household.

These outcomes illustrated that the Progress Loans program directly contributes to
greater social inclusion, helps address areas of deprivation for its customers and directly
supports an individual’s own capacity to address issues arising in their lives.